After about six months of thinking about it, I've finally decided to take the Linux plunge with Ubuntu. But before I start, I'd like to put my system up for comment and help suggestions. I've got the Ubuntu Manual and have read the installation section, but it doesn't address things in detail.
I currently have Windows XP, SP3 32 bit installed. One reason I'm delving into Linux is that MS is going to quit supporting XP next year, and I want an alternative that is not MS. So in a year, I'll be exclusively Linux but in the meantime I'll be dual booting.
Motherboard is Asus P5G41-M; Processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 @ 2.93GHz Wolfdale 45nm Technology, but I'm thinking of upgrading to a Core 2 Quad or Quad Extreme (used). I do not know if these are 64 bit capable, but since the motherboard is Windows 7 Ready, I would hope it and the processor would be. I have not yet googled for the actual specs. On the processor, hyperthreading (whatever that is) is not supported.
Memory is 4g of Dual Channel DDR2@400mhz. If I were to install the 64 bit Ubuntu, I would also add memory to max out the system at 8g.
I currently have two HDs. One is a 250G that is partitioned into a 115G with the Windows Operating System. The other 110G is raw and has not been formatted. The other HD is a 500G empty NTFS formatted that could easily be partitioned and each reformatted into any file system.
I know that Linux has its own file discrete file systems but also that Ubuntu works with NTFS.
So here are my questions. Since I have already got a partition for Ubuntu that present but not formatted, how would I go about installing Ubuntu there? Dual boot seems to be built into Ubuntu, so would there be a problem with that if the partition involved was formatted for Linux? On the second HD, should I just leave it NTFS, or should I partition it also into NTFS for Windows use and have another partition for the Linux file system?
Should I get the 64 bit or the 32 bit Linux?
Advice is greatly appreciated because I would like to have the most efficient Linux system possible, and I would like to do this correctly from the getgo. After this gets answered, if it does, I'll have some more Hardware questions.